Thursday, August 5, 2021

Dem Party War - Progressives under attack as Biden wing gloats, Do Prog join Nina Turner in a bowl of shit? Who won the black vote?

As the campaign wound down, Democratic heavy hitters flocked to the district, as the race, rightly or wrongly, was cast a re-litigation of their party’s 2016 presidential primary.... Brown ran better in most suburban communities, and held Turner to just a narrow edge in Cleveland proper -- Brown was especially strong in Beachwood, which has a high Jewish population. Though it doesn’t account for much of the district, Turner narrowly carried OH-11’s portion of Summit County.... Sabato's Crystal Ball

Thursday, August 5

I reported on the much talked about Nina Turner loss twice yesterday:

So yesterday I followed a lot to commentary on the outcome. The right center Dems on Morning Joe gloating and attacking the left, with Sharpton leading the way. Below I posted the NYT article and the Sabato report on the race. Speaking of which, did the black vote abandon Nina because she is too radical and anti-Biden with her comment about eating a bowl of shit when she voted for him? or how about the fact that she didn't support Hillary in 2016 and voted for Jill Stein (most likely, though she didn't say? These anti-Dem comments were used to great effect - plus the Israel thing. 

Plus the open primary may have brought in Republicans:

Progressives (including Nina Turner) pushed hard for open primaries and this analysis finds strong evidence of a significant number of people who typically vote Republican choosing a Dem ballot to oppose Turner over Israel

The district has lots of whites and Jews -- so Nina lost those badly, which means that counter to early reporting, she actually didn't do badly with the black vote. Her biggest problem was turnout -- low. And the fact that her black base was younger and they just don't vote as much as older.

Ryan Grim on The Hill had an interview with Brianha Joy Taylor -- worth finding it if you can -- I can't seem to.

Some of the best stuff was Sam Seder's analysis (my daily watch from noon to 2:30 which often kills my day) on Majority Report where he took some shots at the progressives who engage in rhetorical flourishes that come back to bite them when they have to gather support beyond their base to win an election. Sam points out that the purpose of running is to win and the purpose of winning is to make changes. 

The Nina discussion starts around 1 hour and 12 minutes and goes on until 2:02 -- long but a lesson for the left from Sam, who is often attacked for not being left enough -- but I like reality based leftists.


Sam strikes back at the Ultra left dum dums who criticize Cori Bush for "performative" politics. Sam and Emma take them to task for their attacks on those who actually run in the Dem Party to win and not search for the mythical left cannon unicorn of the Labor-Green-People Party where they can get ten votes or just enough to let Republican right wingers win. Ahhh purity. Sam points out  that if Cori Bush were some civilian instead of a formerly homeless Congresswoman, her sleep-in would have been laughed at.

 Here is the NY Times article which features the despicable corp shill Hakeem Jeffries who I pray will be primaried and even if it's a losing battle I will be giving money to whomever.

Progressives are holding their own with moderates in fights over policy. But off-year elections suggest they need a new strategy for critiquing President Biden without seeming disloyal.

Nina Turner, the hard-punching Bernie Sanders ally who lost a special election for Congress in Ohio this week, had unique political flaws from the start. A far-left former state legislator, Ms. Turner declined to endorse Hillary Clinton over Donald J. Trump in 2016. Last year, she described voting for President Biden as a grossly unpalatable option.

There were obvious reasons Democratic voters might view her with distrust.

Yet Ms. Turner’s unexpectedly wide defeat on Tuesday marked more than the demise of a social-media flamethrower who had hurled one belittling insult too many. Instead, it was an exclamation mark in a season of electoral setbacks for the left and victories for traditional Democratic Party leaders.

In the most important elections of 2021, the center-left Democratic establishment has enjoyed an unbroken string of triumphs, besting the party’s activist wing from New York to New Orleans and from the Virginia coastline to the banks of the Cuyahoga River in Ohio. It is a winning streak that has shown the institutional Democratic Party to be more united than at any other point since the end of the Obama administration — and bonded tightly with the bulk of its electoral base.

These more moderate Democrats have mobilized an increasingly confident alliance of senior Black and Hispanic politicians, moderate older voters, white centrists and labor unions, in many ways mirroring the coalition Mr. Biden assembled in 2020.

In Ohio, it was a coalition strong enough to fell Ms. Turner, who entered the race to succeed Marcia Fudge, the federal housing secretary, in Congress as a well-known, well-funded favorite with a huge lead in the polls. She drew ferocious opposition from local and national Democrats, including leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus who campaigned for her opponent, Shontel Brown, and a pro-Israel super PAC that ran advertisements reminding voters about Ms. Turner’s hostility toward Mr. Biden.

Ms. Brown, a Cuyahoga County official, surged to win by nearly six percentage points.

Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, a top member of House leadership, said in an interview Wednesday that Democratic voters were clearly rejecting candidates from the party’s most strident and ideological flank.

Where some primary voters welcomed an angrier message during the Trump years, Mr. Jeffries said, there is less appetite now for revolutionary rhetoric casting the Democratic Party as a broken institution.

“The extreme left is obsessed with talking trash about mainstream Democrats on Twitter, when the majority of the electorate constitute mainstream Democrats at the polls,” Mr. Jeffries said. “In the post-Trump era, the anti-establishment line of attack is lame — when President Biden and Democratic legislators are delivering millions of good-paying jobs, the fastest-growing economy in 40 years and a massive child tax cut.”

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Wins for Clinton and Trump? In two special elections last night, Ohio voters in two congressional districts went to the polls to cast ballots in primaries. Though there were four primaries overall, the results in the the two most watched contests were, to some degree or another, unexpected. In the Cleveland area’s OH-11, County Councilwoman Shontel Brown upset former state Sen. Nina Turner in the Democratic primary. Turner, who had superior name recognition, built a fundraising advantage and was seen as a clear, but not prohibitive, favorite for much of the campaign. Though Turner represented part of the area in the legislature from 2008 to 2014, she was most known for her work on Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) presidential campaigns. Brown, who was initially elected to the Cuyahoga Council in 2014, positioned herself as a mainstream Democrat. As the campaign wound down, Democratic heavy hitters flocked to the district, as the race, rightly or wrongly, was cast a re-litigation of their party’s 2016 presidential primary. In the closing week, Sanders stumped for Turner while House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D, SC-6), a major figure in the Congressional Black Caucus, made a visit on Brown’s behalf -- Hillary Clinton endorsed Brown earlier on. Despite Turner’s apparent advantages, Brown prevailed by a 50%-45% margin (there were almost a dozen minor candidates who split up the balance). While Turner’s association with Sanders undoubtedly seemed to help raise her profile, her association with the Vermont senator may ultimately not have been much of an asset in OH-11: in the 2016 primary, it was Clinton’s best district in the state, giving her a nearly 40-point advantage over Sanders. Roughly 90% of OH-11’s votes come from Cleveland’s Cuyahoga County, where Brown did slightly better than her districtwide showing, but there were some interesting local patterns. Brown ran better in most suburban communities, and held Turner to just a narrow edge in Cleveland proper -- Brown was especially strong in Beachwood, which has a high Jewish population. Though it doesn’t account for much of the district, Turner narrowly carried OH-11’s portion of Summit County. An interactive map from our friends at RRH Elections gives a detailed breakdown: Brown carried many of the white-majority areas while Turner ran better in the heavily Black precincts that make up Akron proper.

Given the working class nature of the Akron area, perhaps Brown’s relative moderation played better with white voters. A few months ago, a similar dynamic was at play in Louisiana’s 2nd District: in an April special election, now-Rep. Troy Carter (D, LA-2), who was tagged with the “establishment” label, beat out state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson in an intraparty runoff. Peterson’s posture as an “unapologetic progressive” sold well in gentrifying white neighborhoods in New Orleans, but Carter racked up healthy majorities in the district’s white -- and non-white -- working class pockets.

Both the LA-2 result and the New York City Democratic mayoral primary, where Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams was seen as a moderate choice, represent, to some degree or another, disappointments for progressives. Now, with a loss in Ohio, progressives find themselves looking for a high profile win.

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